Fear is normal. Each one of us experiences fear in one way or another. The problem arises when we allow ourselves to be mastered by fear. Fear can cripple us if we allow it too. It must be managed. I often use to acronym False Evidence Appearing Real to define fear. At the same time , fear can motivate us. For example , the fear of not being able to pay our bills or keep a roof over our heads can motivate us to go to work in order to support ourselves. On the other hand, we may be allowing fear to paralyze us because we are afraid to take risks even calculated ones. There is a reason why I titled this blog “The Courage to Be Authentic”.
For the past 20+ years , I have had an “intimate” relationship with fear. I have spent a large part of my life ” on the fence” so to speak. What do I mean you might ask? I spent a large portion of my life striving to live by what I perceived as societies standard for me instead of being true to myself. I went to college , graduated, went to college again, graduated and took on several “professional” positions none which satisfied me. Living a life centered on the approval of others ,even those closest to you, is not truly living at all. I have been afraid to take risks even calculated ones out of fear of failure, fear of what others ,namely, family thought, fear of ” missing out ” on other opportunities aka distractions, fear of commitment, fear of rejection, and so on. I know what is to be “gripped” by fear. Starting a blog is one way for me to face my fears and overcome them while, hopefully, helping others to do the same.
I am going to share with you possible ways to overcome fear and use it to your advantage. Many of us might confuse fear with wisdom. For example, if you come face to face with a vicious animal such as a bear or lion, it is wise to do whatever you can to get as far the hell away form the situation as soon as possible. This is an example of true wisdom not fear. Being afraid to talk to someone who you are attracted to because of possible rejection is fear. Fear prevents you from stepping out of your comfort zone. Referring to the above example. what if you faced your fear and spoke to that person? You might be face to face with you future soul mate which, in turn, would dramatically improve the quality of your life. It is better to live a short life of courage, joy, fulfillment rather than a long life of fear, boredom and mediocrity. Let’s look at some practical ways to overcome fear.
1) Just Do It
What is the most effective way to overcome fear? Face it head on. I didn’t say that it was the easiest way ,but it has been proven that most of the things and situations that we fear are not truly as threatening as they appear to be. The best way to find that out is to face your fear. What is the worst that can happen? You will learn something new. For example, picture someone who is afraid of riding a mechanical bull. In most cases, what would be the worst case scenario? You fall off… and?!!! Could you break your neck? Yes, it’s possible, but rarely does that ever happen. There is a calculated risk. There is a risk with any endevour. I have never heard nor read of anyone who is considered successful in their field that wasn’t willing to take risks. It comes with the territory. No one realizes his or her fullest potential without doing so.
2) Educate Yourself As You Go
I am all for educating yourself on whatever endeavour you set your mind on, but not to the point of procrastination on taking action. From personal experience, I have justified not getting started on accomplishing goals because I felt that I didn’t know enough. In many cases, it’s simply better to start while learning from your mistakes. I can’t stress the importance enough of taking consistent action no matter how small it may seem. The key is to continually act on the accomplishment of you goals. Don’t expect anyone else outside of you to be more committed to the realization of your goals than you are. It won’t nor shouldn’t happen. You must continue to not only learn, but act, learn from the results, reassess if necessary and act again in that order. Follow this pattern consistently until the goal is accomplished and then, afterwards, set a new goal. Train yourself to embrace fear and go forward anyway( False Evidence Appearing Real remember?!!)
3) Continue To Challenge Yourself
Stay ahead of the “curve”. Stress can become an ally. Practice challenging yourself before the challenge arises. Develop a warrior mindset. This mindset is focused on running towards the battle rather than away from it. If you face fear head on, there is always a lesson to be learned at the end of it. Challenges are necessary for growth. Consistent growth comes from consistently facing our challenges and fears while never looking back and second guessing yourself. The more you “practice” facing your fears and challenges ,despite how you might feel at the moment , the easier it becomes. We all have fears to deal with. Don’t get spooked by appearances . There is a solution to every problem. They are flip sides of the same coin like giving and receiving. A warrior is happiest during battle. Never give up the fight to establish a lifestyle by your own design. Keep moving forward until you get to the other side of the challenge that you were afraid earlier. Victory is waiting is waiting for you on the other side. There is always victory when we face our fears.
4) Change Your Attitude Towards Failure
Failure is an opportunity to learn and grow. Anyone who is has been extraordinarily successful faced failure and plenty of it.It can become the greatest teacher for you. Failure teaches us where to improve. We become sharper and more thick skinned.Each challenge and failure serves as a stepping stone towards greater opportunity. We become more seasoned. When facing your fears, there is always the chance that you might face failure of some kind, but that is part of the process. Facing your fears always leads to growth which , ultimately, leads to success. Overcoming our fears is like breaking out of prison. In order to live an authentic life, you cannot be be bound by fear. You must be free to be the person that you are designed to be and nothing less. Never settle.Make it a daily practice to run to the challenge rather than away from it. Run to he challenge in order to to get to the other side of it. What’s on the the other side you might ask? Your freedom…
Do you want a definition of success? Ultimate success is achieved when an individual realizes the fullest expression of themselves as human beings. You are more powerful than you might realize. You are Spirit( Pure Consciousness) having a human experience. Your thoughts become things whether you believe it or not. You do not exist to either think or live small. You are innately designed to both think and live to your fullest potential. The condition that each of us lives in , on a daily basis, is a result of our thinking. In order to live to your fullest potential, you must be courageous. Continue to both challenge yourself and face your fears. There is no obstacle that can permanently stop you unless you “think” it can. Make a promise to yourself to never ,ever give in to fear. Stay courageous. Until next time….